Many mothers dream of a genius child. But despite all the tips and tricks on children’s upbringing, there is no definite rule book on how to raise one.
Jewish mothers, on the other hand, do not have to resort to psychology articles and parental forums, and their kids often turn out to be little geniuses. Bright Side decided to learn their secret and discovered several important rules.
10. Reward independence
In ordinary families, parents are convinced that children will succeed in life if they believe they can do anything. But in Jewish families, parents find it more important that children think they can do anything themselves.
In Israeli cafes, it is common to see a one-year-old eating a steak all on his own. This is because children are allowed to do anything on their own as soon as they are physically capable of doing so.
9. All things are difficult before they are easy
To become independent, children’s endeavors must be acknowledged and cherished. If a kid started a new hobby, at any age, her parents should support and encourage her.
If something does not go well, older relatives would say “Kol haschalot kashot,“ meaning ”All beginnings are difficult.”
8. Trust is the best reward
So how should we reward those endeavors? Not with candy, and that’s for sure.
In Jewish families, a child is rewarded with trust. If he is fully trusted to do a task by himself, to the child it means he is doing a good job.
7. The outer is not everything
If a European mother sees how Jewish children look while talking a walk outside, she would freak out. They are often covered in mud, their fingers are sticky, their knees are dusty, and some buttons are missing.
The truth is that keeping your child clean and neat on the outside takes too much effort and time from the parent, as well as the child. Jewish parents consider it useless to the child’s personal growth and development to always keep clean clothes on. Children themselves don’t care at all what they look like.
6. Accepting untidiness
Jewish kids are often surrounded by chaos which does not bother their parents. They understand: children are untidy, they knock things over, they spill everything around them.
That’s why, instead of nagging their kids about their untidy rooms, they allow them to live however they deem comfortable, explaining why tidiness is useful to them with time.
5. All energy runs out eventually
Other parents may feel exhausted just by looking at how Jewish kids behave. They spend the whole day running around, and no one tells them, “Don’t climb that!“ ”Don’t touch this!” or “Calm down!”
Parents of such energetic kids find it important for the children to let it all out while they are still young. This way, as adults, they will be more confident and persistent in all their endeavors.
4. Wise freedom
Indeed, Jewish kids are allowed many things. Even another drawing on the wallpaper is seen as a sign that a kid has the artistic potential of a great painter.
However, there is a line which even a Jewish child cannot cross: disrespecting their family. It may only take a judging look if he dyes your cat pink, but insulting a parent will earn the kid a much harsher punishment.
3. Dad is the leader, and so is mom
Respect for parents is taught from an early age. Every kid in the household knows that her parents are the leaders, and anything she does is of less importance.
Therefore, children never depend on their parents to do or get something for them, but instead they try to achieve things by themselves.
2. Child self-control exists
Within Jewish families, one cannot punish a child by taking something away. Instead, several rules are in place, granting a certain benefit for a correct action. Hence, the child does not think narrowly in terms of restrictions and punishments, but he learns to correct his behavior for his own good.
It’s not for fear of being punished that a Jewish boy does not pour out his mother’s perfume onto the neighbor’s poodle: it’s because he knows that instead of buying new perfume tomorrow, his mother could buy food instead.
1. Nothing goes unnoticed
Modern psychologists advise you not to praise your child for any scribble, thereby stimulating his development. Jewish parents are nonetheless convinced that any achievement must be rewarded.
Even if a Jewish mother’s child brings her a napkin with unrecognizable scribbles all over it, she will find a pattern and proudly present it as a painting to the rest of the family.
Illustrator Leonid Khan for BrightSide.me